Simon Wilson, Hawke's Bay

Team approach pays off.


Getting the right advice at the right time has contributed to Simon Wilson’s farming success and really paid off during last year’s drought. Simon says, “We had a plan in place just in case it got dry and fed our ewes baleage, which was new for us. We flushed and mated them on it and got a pretty good scanning as a result. It just shows you can get through a drought if you have the supplementary feed on hand.”

Simon farms 1,400ha near Waipukurau in Hawke‘s Bay, running 5,800 Romney ewes and 800-900 cattle (mainly Friesian bulls) along with some trading heifers and a few Hereford cows.

He relies on support from local agricultural professionals, including James Parsons, from Ballance Agri-Nutrients, and Judy Strawbridge, from Farmlands. “We work as a team, keeping each other updated on how things look and what is going on so we can deal with issues as they arise. If it is insect damage Judy can pinpoint what is required, or if the plants are stressed, or need nutrients, then James is always there to give advice to get things back on track.”

“If Judy is passing she will just stop in and check the crops out, then she’ll come back to me to discuss what she thinks and offer advice in conjunction with James. James also does soil tests when they are required, and gives us recommendations on what we need to apply. They are always readily available for advice.”

Simon has had good results from his crops. He says, “We have had plantain in for a few years, about 80ha is in this year, and we have 50ha of rape. We finish lambs on the rape...flush our two tooths on it, and then all our twin bearing ewes get break fed on it from mid-June till the end of July. We finish lambs on the plantain and put weaner Friesian bulls on it as well. Then we flush our ewe lambs and mate them on it in the autumn...We lamb our lighter twin bearing ewes on it after they come off the rape.”

Looking to the future Simon comments, “This has been always been a well farmed property, the owners before us did a fantastic job. I just want to hand it on to the next generation in as good a shape as when we took it over.”